Walnut Bend ES team earns first place at Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

For the first time in school history, a team of students from Walnut Bend Elementary School was crowned champions at the Odyssey of the Mind 2019 World Finals for its outstanding performance and problem-solving skills.  

The team, along with six other HISD schools, traveled to East Lansing, Mich., for the 40th annual World Finals held May 22-25. 

Teamwork and creativity helped the Walnut Bend team earn first-place honors in the “Structure Toss” category, in which students were required to “design, build, and test a structure, made only of balsa wood with the option of using glue to connect the parts, and to test it by placing weights onto it.” The Walnut Bend’s structure held an impressive 780 pounds. 

“We are extremely proud of this awesome team,” said Walnut Bend Principal and OM coach Michele Dahlquist, who has coached and coordinated the Odyssey of the Mind program for more than 30 years. “What was accomplished by these seven kids was far greater than anyone could have accomplished alone.” 

The Walnut Bend team has been working hard since October with the goal of a victory at the World Finals. Walnut Bend was one of 900 teams from around the world to participate in the annual competition, and 2019 marks the school’s seventh appearance in eight years. 

Six other HISD schools also participated in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. They include: Twain, West University, Helms and River Oaks elementary schools; Carnegie Vanguard High School; and T.H. Rogers School.